SAS® Forum Milan 2016
SAS Forum Milan 2016: with Iot, Analytics are Everywhere
The XI edition of SAS Forum Milan has focused on the pervasiveness of analytics, driver of innovation in a world ruled by smart objects and Big Data. The event brought together in Milan over 2.000 business users, analysts and industry experts from all around the world.
The IoT revolution is dramatically changing the way of working and living: In today’s world there are ten billion smart objects (in 2020 there will be 50 billion) that generate and transmit to the Net huge volumes of data. The key to solve the informational chaos are the analytic solutions, nowadays more and more pervasive, that allow to exploit big data to make decisions, innovate the business, and improve activities. The XI edition of SAS Forum has focused on these issues, gathering in Milan over 2,000 business users, analysts and industry experts from around the world.
Marco Icardi, Vice President Central East Europe, SAS opened the plenary session: “Three years ago we talked about Analytics Culture; last year the focus was on Analytics for Everyone, with new tools to facilitate the use of analytics pervasively in the company. Today’s event is dedicated to Analytics Everywhere, underlining the widespread of analytic solutions." The driving force is the Internet of Things that affects many aspects of the everyday life and contributes to the data explosion, opening the doors to new business models and services. "The economist Jeremy Rifkin talks about the third industrial revolution, at zero marginal cost" say Marco Icardi. The modern era is characterized by many disruptive elements: product co-development with customers, interpenetration of industries, "new deal on data" (people share personal information in change for value added services); democratization of information and analytics; streaming analytics to process data when they are generated.
“In 2016 SAS celebrates 40 years of activity, with 14,000 employees, a turnover of 3 billion dollars just on analytical software, 80,000 customers, about 5 million users. Co-operating with partners, universities and research centers, our company has evolved to support companies in the digital transformation, which cannot be separated by analytics or by Smart Minds (people and organizations able to manage and exploit Big Data)." As highlighted by a Survey conducted by Polytechnic of Milan (Resource: Polytechnic of Milan Survey CIO 2015, Digital Transformation Academy www.osservatori.net) Business Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics are the top priority for Cio’s, while digitalization and dematerialization are the second.
Many speakers on the stage shared extraordinary experiences with analytics. Stefano Mancuso, Director of LINV, International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, University of Florence, has shown how plants think and solve complex problems, thanks to a set of twenty senses connected to thousands of receptors (unlike animals, they don’t have a brain as a unique center of thought and command). "99.7% of the living beings in the world is vegetable: it means that plants have developed a superior adaptive capacity, based on swarm intelligence within a same body (the plants are not individuals, but colonies of elements). The same collective intelligence characterizes all living things as well as man" the scientist explained. Mancuso offered some examples of how the union of ordinary people without rules and hierarchies can unravel unsolved problems intuitively: "The ability to use the collective intelligence is the key for innovation."
While Barbara Cominelli, Director Commercial Operations and Digital - Vodafone Italia, showed the importance of Big Data and Analytics to capture the digital moments and build a better customer journey, Tamara Dull - Director of Emerging Technologies for SAS Best Practices, highlights the opportunities and risks of IoT, which can be cool (it enables new features that facilitate processes and activities) or creepy because it threatens the privacy and security of personal data: "Making the IoT safe is a duty for anyone: consumers, citizens, private and public companies."
Paolo Bruttini, Socioanalyst and business development consultant, President of Forma del Tempo srl, talked about the concept of Open Business. The Big Data have broadened the knowledge within the company, enabling new relational models: "To generate innovation, organizations must have within itself a certain amount of anarchy and self-regulatory ability. They have to facilitate peer-to-peer relationships, cultivate passion for talent, build a system based on ethics and transparency, adopt an Open Leadership, that give the employees the freedom to valuate and control themselves”. These topics refer to the concept of People Management, that exploits analytics to create engagement and extract value from human resources.
Talking with Emanuela Sferco, Regional Marketing Director Central East Europe, SAS, Mauro Maldonato, Psychiatrist and Professor of General Psychopathology, University of Basilicata, shared some thoughts about decision-making process. “We are living a disruptive moment. With technology progress, things are changing very fast and our brain can’t easily adapt. People decide in many different ways, but it’s really important to find the balance between intuition and reason, having the ability to take risks.”
Andrea Nelson Mauro and Alessio Cimarelli, Data journalists and data scientists, Founders of DataNinja, explained how to build simple narrations with data drawn from science, daily life, history, current affairs, business requirements, making understandable complex facts.
After the extraordinary show performed by Miyoko Shida Rigolo - Choreographer, Zen Dancer, Icardi presented the latest news from SAS: “We launched the new architecture SAS Viya, designed to meet the needs of analysis in real-time (streaming analytics) and to manage the huge volumes of data generated by the IoT. It is an open architecture with new machine learning capabilities, thought to be cloud-ready, able to integrate with third party and open source solutions (for example, Hadoop). All our solutions will move to the new architecture. Among other innovations, we invested to create digital learning programs for partners and customers, which enable a more rapid and immediate training model contributing to the spread of analytics culture."